- 250ml warm water
- 2 tsp dried yeast (not fast-action)
Yeast is a living, single-cell organism. As the yeast grows, it converts its food (in the form…
- 3 tbsp warm milk
One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a 'complete' food…
- 2 tbsp golden caster sugar
- 450g strong flour, plus extra for dusting
Flour is usually made from grinding wheat, maize, rye, barley or rice. As the main…
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
- 2 large eggs, plus 1 beaten egg, for glazing
- sesame seeds, for sprinkling
Mix the warm water, yeast, warm milk and sugar in a bowl. Let it stand for 5 mins until it becomes frothy – this is how you know the yeast is working.
Tip the flour and 1 tsp salt into a large mixing bowl, add the butter and rub together with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Make a well in the centre of the buttery flour and add the warm yeast mixture and the eggs.
Use your hands to mix it into a sticky dough – don’t worry if the mixture feels a little wet at this stage, it will come together when kneading. Tip the dough out onto a floured work surface.
Knead the dough for 10 mins by stretching it on the work surface – it will still be very sticky at this stage but don’t be tempted to add too much flour.
The dough is ready when it feels soft and bouncy – this means that the gluten strands have developed. Place in an oiled bowl, cover with cling film and set aside to rise for 1-3 hrs or until doubled in size.
Once the dough has doubled in size, knock the air out and knead again for 2 mins. The dough should be much less sticky now, but add a little flour if it needs it.
Divide the dough into 12-16 even pieces. Roll into balls and arrange on lined baking trays. Loosely cover with oiled cling film and leave for about 1 hr or until doubled in size again. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and place a shallow baking tray at the bottom.
Uncover the trays, brush the buns with egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Pour a cup of water into a baking tray at the bottom of the oven to create steam (see Tips for success, left). Bake for 20 mins or until golden, then leave to cool on a wire rack.
Tips for success 1You can also make the dough in a stand mixer – just follow the same method as by hand.
Tips for success 2Oiled hands and a dough scraper will come in handy when moving and shaping the dough.
Tips for success 3Adding steam to the oven keeps the buns moist while cooking, giving a softer crumb. If you prefer a crustier bun, simply leave out the cup of water.
Tips for success 4The buns can be made up to a day ahead. Once cooled, store in an airtight container until needed.